Diamond stash of rogue financier to be auctioned

Sunday, November 28th 2004, 11:56 am
By: News On 6

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) _ A stash of 814 diamonds that will help pay for a financier's run from American authorities will be sold over a two-day period next month leading up to the day of his sentencing.

Toledo native Martin Frankel's diamonds will be auctioned in Manhattan on Dec. 8 and 9. He will be sentenced Dec. 10 in New Haven, Conn., on a scheme to steal $200 million from insurance companies in five states.

The items to be auctioned include a round-cut, 15.67-carat diamond that's almost as big as a quarter, according to Britney Sheehan of EG&G Technical Services, the Gaithersburg, Md., auction house working on the sale for the Internal Revenue Service.

Frankel, 50, pleaded guilty to 24 counts of fraud and racketeering in 2002. He admitted scheming to loot insurance companies in Mississippi, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Missouri and Tennessee that mostly sold funeral policies to the poor.

In 1999, Frankel triggered an international manhunt when he disappeared from his mansion in Greenwich, Conn. He was arrested in Germany four months later.

Proceeds from the auction, which also will be conducted online, will be returned to guaranty funds in the states that shelled out millions of dollars to cover losses in the case.